A necklace from Ikram

A necklace from Ikram (Chicago Tribune / July 24, 2012)

Michigan Avenue and Oak Street are two of the city’s most popular strips for window-shopping, but some of downtown’s best boutiques are tucked among galleries and restaurants on the streets of River North. Expect an impressive selection of designer threads, with pricetags to match.

Start your trip in front of the glossy red façade and massive circular windows of Ikram (15 E. Huron St. 312-587-1000). This women’s boutique features jewelry and clothing hand-selected by local fashion legend Ikram Goldman, known for outfitting Michelle Obama for the 2009 inauguration and other occasions.

Next, head to Jonathan Adler (676 N. Wabash Ave. 312-274-9920), which features the offbeat pottery that made the namesake designer famous, plus pillows, throw blankets and furniture that range from quirky to sophisticated.

Fashionistas with an eye for European design will adore women’s shop Sarca (710 N. Wabash Ave. 312-255-0900), which is located just up the street and stocks an impressive selection of designers from overseas.

Head north to Chicago Avenue and drool over the thoughtfully curated collection of women’s clothing as well as handbags and shoes at Blake (212 W. Chicago Ave. 312-202-0047); there’s no sign, but the address is clearly marked.

Also worth checking out: Men’s store Haberdash (607 N. State St. 312-624-8551) for clothing and neighboring accessory shop Haberdash EDC (611 N. State St. 312-646-7878) as well as Veruca Salt (520 N. Kingsbury St. 773-276-3888), which stocks designer denim, dresses and accessories for women and casual clothes for men.